Joshu’s Oak Tree

oak treeI wanted share something with a seasonal theme, given that spring is almost here. I realize that the spring equinox passed several weeks ago; a day on which the season undoubtedly arrived somewhere, perhaps in Maryland or New Jersey. However those of us who have endured the last few weeks punctuated with spells of cool, damp, weather, giving us frequent downpours of frigid rain and flooding the rivers, know that here in Maine spring has not arrived; we are mired in “mud season.” So, I thought that it would be a good time to look at a koan with a pleasant taste of nature to lift our spirits.

From the Mumonkan, Case 37:
A monk asked Joshu in all earnestness. “What is the meaning of the patriarch’s coming from the west?”

Joshu said, “The oak tree there in the garden.” Continue reading